NFC-enabled Android and Nokia phones vulnerable to hijacking

Galaxy NexusThought NFC is a relatively unused feature in this side of the world, there is no reason for it to be left as it is. As proven by a smartphone hacker named Charlie Miller. The hacker recently found a way to take advantage of the NFC capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nokia’s N9. By simply using an NFC tag, the hacker said he was capable of making your smartphone run its web browser and load a website (containing malicious code or commands) – all he had to do was place the chip in close proximity to the phone. Can you imagine the repercussions if these chips were widely available for people to get their hands on. Crowded places like restaurants, public transportation systems and shopping malls could all turn into hijacking grounds for smartphones.

The chip works by taking advantage of the fact that smartphones don’t require any authorizations or confirmations from the users when receiving commands over NFC. In fact, there is no way for users to selectively approve or reject a specific transfer initiated – which makes preventing this hack quite difficult. It’s up to Google to close these vulnerabilities in Android and as for the N9, I guess it’s in the hands of the developer community to fix MeeGo. Let’s hope these problems are fixed before NFC becomes more popular here.

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